Prepaid business account use spikes as coronavirus hits

Companies seek new ways to control spending

Prepaid Financial Services said demand for its prepaid business current accounts rose sharply between February and April, as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown sent businesses scrambling for cash-free services.

The Meath-based company, which is one of Europe’s largest issuers of e-money, said there had been a 107.28 per cent spike in usage of the smart payment solution.

The popularity of the services is being attributed to a number of factors, including the speed with which they can be deployed, and the ability to impose a budget for spending with prepaid services as businesses seek innovative ways to manage expenses, travel, payroll, direct debits, transfers and mobile payments.

"We are delighted to be the payment provider of choice for rising challenger banks that want to use our innovative technology platform to disrupt the traditional banking market. We have built powerful, lightning speed APIs to enable our customers to connect in real-time to our platform to utilise state of the art consumer and business current accounts easily in Europe, " said Amanda Harrison, Head of Business Development at PFS.


“Covid-19 has proven that multi-channel, digital solutions are essential to move money faster and safer around the world. With our framework, technology, and partnerships in place, PFS has also been able to provide rapid response solutions to our customers to reach the vulnerable via emergency fund disbursement in these challenging times.”

The company has added a premium business current account to its offering, and all its prepaid business accounts are compatible with contactless mobile payment methods Google Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.

PFS, which was established by Noel and Valerie Moran, was the target of an acquisition bid by Australian group EML last year. The deal was originally priced at priced at A$453.6 million, but was later discounted by $189 million due to "economic realities" of the Covid-19 crisis.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist